the division

Official Site: The Division
Studio: Ubisoft
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic MMOTPS
Business Model: B2P (DLC)
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Not So Massively: All the online gaming news from E3 2015

It’s been a big week for online gaming, with several high-profile reveals and announcements made at E3 2015. The latest version of MOBA-esque space dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie was playable on the event floor using the Crescent Bay Oculus Rift. MassivelyOP freelancer Andrew Ross also got some hands on time with newly announced MOBA Gigantic and picked developer David Braben‘s brains on Elite: Dangerous‘ recently announced Close Quarters Combat feature. Cory Jones discussed the history of online card game HEX, and Bethesda announced its own card game named The Elder Scrolls Legends.

Blizzard showed up at E3 this year to reveal the next character coming to Heroes of the Storm and demo the latest progress of its upcoming team-based shooter Overwatch. We also heard of online racing game The Crew‘s upcoming expansion that adds motorcycles and monster trucks, and H1Z1 revealed plans to let players build their own structures. The biggest news for online gaming is that we finally got to see gameplay footage of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront reboot, and the game got a firm release date of November 17th. The Division will be entering closed beta at the end of this year and releasing on March 8th 2016.

Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!

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Betawatch: June 19th, 2015

You could be forgiven for sort of forgetting about The Division. No matter how much it might have interested you at first, the game kind of dropped off the radar for half of forever. But now it’s on track for a winter beta and a launch next year, and we found out a bit about the game from E3, like how you can hunt rogue agents. (We also got our hands on it on the show floor, which might have been to its detriment.)

In other news:

We also have our usual list of betas past the break. Is something amiss therein? Why, tell us in the comments!

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E3 2015: The Division’s Dark Zone demo does the game no favors

After covering the development of Ubisoft’s The Division since 2013, I finally got my hands on the game itself — and its PvP — at this year’s E3. It’s not exactly a true MMO, but it’s got online co-op, tablet-assisted play, and an “end of the world” setting free of zombies, all of which should translate to hype. [Apparently that tablet app has been canceled as confirmed earlier today.] New details on the Dark Zone may have scared some people off, but my interest was piqued.

For my part, I’m a big fan of organic, open-world PvP; instanced PvP doesn’t do much for me unless it’s about more than just accruing points or climbing ranks or even loot. Unfortunately, the Ubisoft PR rep at E3 began the demo by telling the participants our objective was to kill the other teams in a 3v3v3 “match.” Up until that point, I hadn’t realized that Dark Zone was being billed as an arena for loot gain. In fact, the official description of the demo implied a much more free-form experience.

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The Division walks players through the Dark Zone in a new video

What’s it like exploring the Dark Zone in The Division? It’s a question asked by many people who know there is a zone which is dark in the game, which is probably a small subset of people. But now you know it exists, and you’d like to know what it’s like to fight through it, and guess what? You can know, thanks to a new video walkthrough.

The walkthrough follows three players as they head into the dangerous area in search of valuable items, which they find, along with a whole lot of… well, danger. They don’t go in well-armed because it’s fun and all. So jump on down and watch the whole thing, complete with narration to give a clear picture of how players can tackle this area when the game finally releases. You should also stay tuned for our own E3 hands-on coming along later today.

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You can bounty hunt rogue agents in The Division

Looking for a fun place to vacation next year? We do not recommend The Division’s Dark Zone, unless you find a lawless area of player conflict and terrifying threats an ideal destination.

A new blog post on the upcoming title talks about its specially designed PvP zone. The Dark Zone isn’t a mere pit in which to kill each other but a place where missions are assigned and separate teams have to decide to work together or against each other.

The most interesting mechanic of the Dark Zone is the rogue flag. Whenever a player attacks another player in the area, he’s flagged as a rogue for a period of time. For the duration of the flag, other players will get a reward bonus for killing the rogue. Ubisoft anticipates that some players may choose to operate as bounty hunters and track down rogue agents.

The Division is heading into beta in winter 2015 and will release next March.

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E3 2015: The Division’s beta happens this winter, release in March [Updated]

If you’re itching to beta test The Division, I hope you have Microsoft’s latest console. Ubisoft announced that Xbox One owners will get an advance look at the shooter in December. Spokesman Laurent Detoc spilled the beans at today’s Microsoft E3 presentation, but Ubisoft has not said whether or not the beta will be open nor has it provided information on how to sign up.

The Division was initially mentioned as a console exclusive in 2013. Later that same year, Ubisoft said that it would also release the game on PCs due to the platform’s vocal community.

[Update]: Ubisoft announced that The Division will release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 8, 2016.

Source: YouTube
Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Los Angeles, California, for E3 2015, bringing you expert MMO coverage from NCsoft, Blizzard, Ubisoft, BioWare, and everything else on display at the expo!

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Massively OP Podcast: Episode 14

When a studio is scooped by rumors, confessions, and scanty evidence, there’s no putting that cat back in the bag for a formal announcement. This week Justin and Bree talk about a business model shift, a cancelation, a delay, and a success story… although not necessarily in that order. Also, there’s a brief PSA about the dangers of monitor cords, so pay attention!

Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!

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Perfect Ten: Future MMOs that I can’t wait to play

I imagine that most of us have a future bucket list of MMOs that we wish would get here already. It wasn’t but a couple of years ago that I was salivating over several major up-and-coming releases, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and WildStar. My list of most-anticipated never seemed to get smaller, it seemed.

Flash-forward to 2015 and it feels as though we’re in a different era all of the sudden. Games are still being made, to be sure, but there seems like there are fewer blockbuster-wannabes on the horizon. I’m really happy playing what we already have, although I miss that feeling of “ooh, I can’t WAIT!” that used to drive my excitement.

Even so, there are several titles in development that have my attention to varying degrees. Maybe some of these aren’t the big-budget extravaganzas I was used to and maybe a couple are long shots, but as it stands, here are 10 future MMOs I can’t wait to play.

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Ubisoft delays The Division until Q1 2016

A couple of months ago, we reported that The Division was on track for a 2015 release. Not so fast, according to Ubisoft, which today announced that the MMO shooter’s launch is being pushed back to “the first quarter of calendar year 2016.”

No reason is given for the delay beyond the usual PR-speak about ensuring that the game meets high expectations. Ubisoft also says that it will “show you more next month at E3.”

Source: Ubisoft blog

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Ubisoft Annecy joins the many teams working on The Division

You remember The Division, right? We sort of do. It was supposed to be released… eventually. Was it supposed to be now? Meh, doesn’t matter, it’s not here yet. But another team has taken on some of the duties of bringing it to life, as Ubisoft Annecy has joined Massive Entertainment, Red Storm, and Reflections in the network of studios collaborating on this one game.

Ubisoft Annecy is likely most familiar to players from Assassin’s Creed multiplayer portions, up to and including Assassin’s Creed Unity. Of course, The Division is supposed to be multiplayer by its very nature, so it’s not yet clear exactly what Annecy will be doing in the game. We’ll just have to wait and see.

[Source: Ubisoft blog]

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Massively Overthinking: Are boutique MMOs the future?

This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Taemys, who just so happens to be a guildie of mine. He’s clever, and so is his concern:

“Are all the smaller, ’boutique’ MMO’s the future? To put it another way, do you think we’ll see anything as big as World of Warcraft or EverQuest again?”

I put his questions to the Massively OP writers, who as usual were happy to overthink them!

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Here’s what’s known about The Division’s crafting

Wait a minute, what? There’s crafting in The Division shooter that Ubisoft is setting in the Clancyverse? Apparently so, according to a new YouTube video that summarizes everything known from various sources.

The Division’s crafting will purportedly be “important but approachable,” as well as focused and fairly hardcore. It can “also somewhat be ignored depending on player preference.” So that’s all cleared up.

If you’re still confuzzled by The Division’s crafting, well, me too. Fortunately the video has a few shots of the interface, which maintains the immersive floating HUD look for which the game is semi-famous. The Division is currently slated for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. There is no release date.

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